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Nine Nights In

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The first night Adora wakes up with Catra on the end her bed, she throws her out. What’s worse is she laughs at her before she throws her out, and then laughs at her again the next morning.

They were kids, she was a kid, but that’s no excuse. Glimmer says she’s too hard on herself but she knows, she knows she’s not hard enough.

It isn’t until after the third, fourth, fifth time she found her friend curled up at the end of her bed she stopped pushing her out in the night. She simply goes back to sleep and lets Catra stay there, tail sliding back and forth over the covers as she sleeps. She considers offering her a blanket, but the dorms always run a little warm from all the machinery in the Horde, so she just curls back up under her own blanket with a smile.

It’s isn’t until the sixth, seventh, eighth time she actually asked Catra why she keeps doing it. Every other week or so, she was there, either when Adora woke in the night the night, or when the alarms go off in the morning.

Catra doesn’t answer.

It isn’t until the ninth time that Adora figures it out.

Catra has nightmares.

She never admits to it, Adora catches her in the middle of one.

She’s not sure what it’s about, even in her sleep Catra is guarded but she mumbles Adora’s name, tosses and turns, gets her tail twisted around her and Adora knows the look on her face.

Fear.

She’s seen it far too often, knows it too well, even if Catra would never admit to being scared she knows her friend gets scared. Whatever the nightmare is about, it’s scaring Catra into her bed night after night. Adora is tempted to wake her but leaves her to it. Catra would only be embarrassed and instead, she pretends to be asleep and waits for her to join her. She feels more settles when she does so, the weight at the end of the bed so familiar and comforting.

They never talk about it again.

And then it’s too late to talk about it and Adora wonders if Catra misses sleeping on the end of her bed as much as she misses having her friend there.

She wonders if she could ever be close enough to anyone to have that again. She wonders if Glimmer would ever do something similar. Perhaps not at the end of the bed, but in her bed, curled up together.

Though, Glimmer conveys her feelings much more willingly (or perhaps, differently but unwillingly) than Catra. Little is bottled up, it’s all on display. It took Adora so long to get used to it and she’s not sure she could go back to Catra’s defiance in the face of all emotion.

But she sure misses her.